Hornbill Festival meant to promote and protect rich Naga culture: CM

Hornbill Festival meant to promote and protect rich Naga culture: CM
Rio inaugurating the Angami morung gate, Monday. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, NOV 25 (NPN) | Publish Date: 11/25/2019 11:41:06 AM IST

Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio said Hornbill Festival was meant to promote and protect rich cultural heritage of the Nagas, besides preserving their age-old traditions.

Speaking during inauguration of renovated Angami morung at Naga heritage village at Kisama here on Monday evening, Rio observed that the festival attracted lots of local and international tourists, besides VVIPs, where tribes of Nagaland displayed their rich culture and traditions. He said all the tribes made respective morungs at Kisama to showcase their rich culture and traditions to the tourists coming from outside. 

Stressing on morungs, the chief minister explained that these were community houses highlighting different characteristics of different tribes. He said the Angami morung was constructed with the contribution of Angami legislators from LAD fund, even as he encouraged other community legislators to also contribute to their respective morungs. Rio expressed the hope that a morung would continue be a place of enjoyment and blessings, besides promoting and upholding the identity of “our community”. He remarked that whoever visited a morung during the Hornbill Festival would be the ambassador for the Nagas. 

Admitting that Nagaland still had a long way to attract tourists, he said constructing morungs could be a step forward towards promoting tourism. He encouraged the gathering to make Nagaland the “real land of festivals” that promoted peace, harmony and development.

The morung was dedicated by Rev Keviyiekielie Linyü and the traditional blessing invoked by Neisa Thol. The programme was chaired by Angami Public Organisation (APO) president Dr Kepelhusie Terhüja, special numbers presented by ASU and AYO, while vote thanks was given by APO treasurer Vilieo Rutsa. The function was also attended by deputy chief minister Y Patton, host of ministers, legislators, dignitaries, State government officials, Angami frontal organisation leaders and others.  

Hornbill accessible for disabled persons: Speaking to the media on sideline of the programme, State commissioner for persons with disabilities Diethono Nakhro said the Angami morung had been made accessible for the persons with disability (PWD), though it was yet to be completed. 

She appealed to other tribes to make their morungs accessible too for persons with disabilities. 

She said tourist destinations across the world today had been made accessible for PWDs.

Sign language to be used: Nakhro also informed the media that sign language interpreter would be used for the first time in Hornbill Festival during its inauguration for the benefit of PWDs. She expressed happiness that lots of changes were taking place in the State for PWDs and hoped these would continue in the coming days too.

Tourism dept all set: With Hornbill Festival just round the corner, the tourism department is pulling out all stops to ensure successful holding of the State’s biggest cultural extravaganza. 

Speaking to Nagaland Post, deputy director of tourism Veyielo Doulo claimed that the department was doing its best to finish everything before commencement of the festival. He said diplomats from various foreign countries and Central leaders were expected to attend the event, while admitting that the main challenge would be in combating littering by public in Kisama area, which had to be cleaned constantly leaving aside other works.  

He said the department was also keeping a tab on prices and quality of services at hotels, lodges, homestays, etc.

According to Doulo, the tourism department also wished to accomplish a plastic-free zone in the festival, which it had failed last year. He said the department would keep a close watch on use of plastic by both stall owners and public, adding eco-friendly bags would be sold for public convenience. 

Further, as against only 25 cultural troupes in previous years, this year their numbers would be 50. There will also be different events at all hotels and restaurants, including RCEMPA and academy hall, every evening from December 2 to 10.

The department is also keeping a tab on fares of commercial vehicles, besides food rates. Taxi fares will start from Rs 250 to Rs 400 (till Kisama), depending from where one rides a cab, even as 50% discounts will be given to senior citizens and differently-abled persons. 

On the other hand, two-wheeler taxi fare from the starting to first point has been fixed at Rs 20, followed by subsequent point addition of Rs 10. Similarly, food and beverage prices too have been fixed.

The deputy director mentioned that roads would be repaired for the convenience of the public, adding that strong open Wi-Fi network would also be made available. He said though the department was unable to confirm on the number of expected tourists, a few lakhs were expected like in the previous years, both local and outsiders.  

He said the department had also uploaded all information on its website 

Doulo said the statehood programme would be held at local ground at 8:30 am on December 1, followed by the opening ceremony at Kisama main arena at 4 pm on the same day.

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